North Korea continues studies on market economy, introduces concept of securities in academic journals

Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
2014-7-11

Recently, North Korean academic journals are publishing articles that argue for the promotion of research on the market economy, in preparation for economic exchanges with capitalist countries.

In an article titled “The Fundamentals and Main Stream of Issuing Securities,” the academic journal Political and Legal Research (Vol. 2, 2014; published on June 14) introduced the concept of securities as a financial instrument, explaining in detail the methods of capital financing in a market economy.

The article provides a definition of securities, and explains the purpose of their issuance, methods of increasing capital, and various other concepts related to stocks and securities. The articles’ contents resemble what one would normally find in a university-level business school textbook.

The article quoted Kim Jong Il’s guideline: “In order to engage in international economic exchange, [North Korea] must be familiar with economies of other nations,” and emphasized, “To successfully engage in suitable economic activities with capitalist nations, it is important to fully understand each country’s laws and regulations relating to stocks and securities.”

The article also argued, “Workers in the foreign economy sector must work to clearly grasp economies of capitalist nations and engage in active trade activities with these nations.”

In the same journal, another article entitled “Understanding the Formation of Conflict Resolution System of the World Trade Organization (WTO)” introduced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) system, the 1986 Uruguay Round negotiations, and criticized the United States for abusing the conflict resolution system to protect its own market.

In this particular article the author stressed, “Problems that may arise in foreign economic relations must be solved in line with our revolutionary interests.” Furthermore, the article explains, “Because problems that arise in international trade are solved through the World Trade Organization, it is important to understand the formation of this system.”

The article continues: “Capitalist nations have abused the WTO’s agreement on low-cost goods from developing countries and are raising non-tariff barriers. . . . [North Korea] must grasp the unprogressive nature of the WTO and its conflict resolution system in order to contribute to the building of a great nation.”

Another article entitled “The General Understanding of Usufructuary Rights as Regulated by Foreign Civil Law” explains the right to use another person’s land or products. According to the author, “The Rights System and its regulation under capitalist civil law must be understood in order to protect national interests when engaging in foreign economic activities.”

Internally, North Korea has been encouraging the study of market economy in order to push ahead with its construction of economic development zones, promotion of foreign tourism industry, and expansion of economic cooperation with foreign countries.

As North Korea’s joint venture operations with foreign companies continue, and as its efforts to develop special economic zones and the tourism industry increase, it appears that North Korea has begun to feel the need to gain a better understanding of the market economy system.

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